Honeymoon Beauty Haul: City Slicker Edition

beauty bells copy

After months and months of preparation, your big day has come and gone. Now you and your beloved are jet-setting off on an exciting honeymoon, carry-on bag chock full of all your beauty essentials.

Dependent on your locale of choice, your beauty routine could vary dramatically. For those ladies seeking a European excursion full of sightseeing, museums and strolls along the Seine this City Slicker packing list is for you:

  1. Vitamin C Serum – A serum rich in Vitamin C is your perfect urban solution! This will keep your skin looking glowy, plumped and those excellent antioxidants will help protect your skin against harsh environmental factors. (Truth Serum® Vitamin C Collagen Booster, $48)
  2. Multi-purpose daily moisturizer – As you]re on vacation you don’t want to carry your full beauty arsenal with you. I say opt for a nourishing moisturizer like this Shea Butter daily moisturizer. light enough for day time use, but rich enough for night as the She Butter will help protect, nourish and moisturize skin while you catch some much needed zzz’s (Shea Butter Comforting Cream, $28)
  3. Tinted Moisturizer – You want some color coverage, but you will be painting the town from the wee hours of the morning and you don’t want a heavy face of makeup as you sight see. Opt for a tinted moisturizer with SPF that will keep you looking fresh all day long. (Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $44)
  4. Contour Pen – At night or even for a special day trip you may need to spice up your beauty game. a multi purpose contouring pen is the perfect option! Sculpt and highlight with a dual sided stick. The blendable formula has great slip allowing you to naturally blend with your fingers if you don’t have room for packing your makeup brushes. (Lancome Le Duo Contour Stick, $36)
  5. Bronzer – No time for contouring in the day? No problem! Just swipe on some bronzer for a sun-kissed glow and be on your way (Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer,  $53)
  6. Lip & Cheek Stain – Double duty products are perfect for travel. No need to pack extra lipsticks and a blush when a multi-purpose stain will do the trick. Even better you can apply with your fingers – makeup brushes not necessary. (BECCA Beach Tint, $25)
  7. Liquid Liner – A waterproof liquid pen liner is ideal for travel. As you will be doing some urban trekking you will not want your liner to smudge in the heat, this beauty will last all day long! (Magic Marc-er, $30)
  8. Volumizing Mascara – As space in your makeup bag is scant, I suggest foregoing eye shadow and grabbing a volumizing mascara to help make your pretty peepers pop. (Omega Lash Mascara, $26)
  9. Brow Gel – I know I have said it before, but keeping your eyebrow game on point is KEY! They frame your features, and instantly give you a polished look without applying a full face. (Anastasia Beverly Hills Borw Gel, $22)
  10. Setting Spray + SPF – SPF is never something to leave behind, and while you may not be on the beach, you would be surprised by how much sun you can get while playing tourist. This travel friendly makeup setting spray with SPF is perfect to take in your purse so you can reapply throughout the day without messing up your makeup! (Supergoop Defense Refresh setting Mist, $12)

Evening Bag Essentials: Bridesmaid

Evening Bag Essentials bridesmaid

In our last installment of evening bag essentials we touched on what to make sure is in your bag when you are a guest to be, but what about being a bridesmaid? Not only will your bag of goodies be stuffed full with your must-haves, but you should probably have a few items stashed for the bride. Packing for 2 is not always easy when you have a slim clutch as your vehicle of transportation – the key is packing products that will serve double duty for both you and the bride.

A few key items that will keep you, the bride and the rest of the bridal party looking picture perfect include:

Double Sided Tape – Bridal fashions tend to bare more skin with less support than the average off the rack dress/gown. Pack some of this double sided tape to help the brides dress stay in place and keep your dress up as you dance the night away. Double Sided Tape, Fashion Tape, $5.99

Safety Pins – Rips, tears, lengthy trains, pesky straps you name it any dress mishap is fair game at a wedding. With all the dancing, greeting and hugging brides and bridal parties do that evening its a miracle dresses are not shredded by the end of the night. To help keep everything in place and also avoid any major wardrobe malfunctions, a few safety pins will do the trick. Buttons on bustle not working? Pin it up! Strap getting a bit loose? Pin it in place! The bride will sing your praises if you come to her rescue with a few safety pins. Safety Pins, $5.99

Tic-Tacs – A long night of food and drinks are no big deal when your among close friends. But as you will be chatting up everyone from the brides nearest and dearest to Granny’s third cousin, it’s best to keep breath fresh. A few mints will help you and the rest of the bridal party stay fresh! Mints, Tic Tac, $0.99

Lip Gloss – With all that chatting and sipping your lipstick will be gone in a matter of hours. To keep your pout perfected bring a neutral lip gloss for touch ups through out the evening. If you choose a universal shade like a nude pink, you, the bridesmaids or even the bride can swipe it on and not be worried about it not being a perfect match for their skin tone. Nude Lip Gloss, Buxom $19.00

Neutral Powder Compact – Reduce shine and give your skin that gorgeous airbrushed effect by keeping a small neutral compact in your bag. Easy for quick touch ups before all the big photo opps. You will have people wondering if you had a personal makeup team following you around all evening. Neutral Compact, Makeup Forever $36.00

Refillable Fragrance Atomizer – Fill a mini fragrance atomizer with you or the bride’s favorite scent so you can freshen up throughout the evening. All that dancing and running around wont make you lose your cool as you can quickly refresh with a splash of your favorite EDT. Refillable Atomizer, Sephora $7.00


Skin For Him

beauty bells visual

While you may have spent the last 6 months obsessing over your own skin routine, there is probably one very important person’s skin you have forgotten about – your groom-to-be. If your significant other is anything like most of the men I know, my guess is his skin regimen resembles something of washing his face in the shower with leftover shampoo. While this may work for him on the reg, it’s probably not going to ensure his handsome face is blemish free on your wedding day.

The easiest way to get your man  to adopt a routine, is to make it as simple as possible, no extra fancy products just the basics – wash, tone/exfoliate, moisturize. If you give him too many steps he will never keep up with them, and you can always offer to give him a mask or special treatment while you’re doing your own – trust me, he will never say no. As much as guys hate to admit it, they love being pampered just as much as girls.

A few more things to keep in mind for guys’ skincare.

  1. They tend to be more price conscious than women on beauty products so don’t try and get them to buy the most expensive stuff out there.
  2. Stick with brands they know, they’re not as adventurous in skincare so keep them on board with a brand they are comfortable with.
  3. Go with them to get their products so you know they are buying what will work for them. Most guys have NO idea what their skin issues maybe so it’s great if you can get them to do a consultation.

Now for a few basic routines that will keep you and your man happy on the big day…

  • For the Price Conscious Groom: Dove Skincare Face Wash and Moisturizer. It’s friendly on their pocket and on their skin.
  • For the Back To Basics Groom: As easy as 1,2,3 with Clinique Men’s Care. A recognizable brand with simple steps and multitasking products.
  • For the Beauty Loving Groom – you know the one you catch using your products: A little aquatic indulgence from the Verdon collection by L’Occitane. The delightful textures and insanely good smell will have both you smiling.

Perfect Your Pout

lip ScrubPretty lips frame your gorgeous smile and they need to look their best when you walk down the aisle.

Giving your lips a little weekday love will do you and your pout a lot of good. You’ll be doing lots of smooching, drinking, chatting and laughing on your big day so you’ll need some prep to keep your lips hydrated and on point.

Here are a few pointers that will not only keep your pout kissably soft, but also ensure that your lipstick of choice lasts all day looking – flawless.

All you need is a quick mid week scrub paired with a lip moisturizer to give you an envious smile your guests will be admiring all night long.

Step 1: Lip Scrub – you can whip up a quick DIY scrub with a few items in your pantry. Sugar, honey and some coconut oil. If you’re not the DIY type you can also try the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish which is a great pre-made version. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, $22.50

Step 2: After your scrub you’ll need to replenish your lips to keep them hydrated and nourished. My recent favorite is the Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Lip Balms. In the evening I opt for the plain, but during the day I occasionally use the raspberry tinted version. Korres Lip Balms, $19.00

This 2-Step treatment will perfect your pout keeping your smile pretty all day long.

Here Comes The Sun

With summer quickly approaching you’ll be switching up your skin and makeup routine to adjust for the rising temps, but you should also be swapping your sunscreen.

I know what you’re thinking – my moisturizer/foundation/powder etc, has SPF so I’m covered. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not –  and if you want to look like a glowing goddess on your wedding day AND on your 50th wedding anniversary, I suggest you work that sunscreen into your daily routine ASAP. 

Sunscreens can definitely be tricky to use, first there is the question of which SPF should I really be using, then there is the issue with texture and makeup and of course this leads to the question of at what step do I use my sunscreen, and lastly we have the do I really need to reapply. If you’re baffled by sunscreen no need to fret. Here I’m going to teach you the basics of sunscreen choice and application. 

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What’s the Deal With SPF

While an SPF 30 may be your mainstay during the winter months, an SPF 50 is really the way to go once the temperatures begin to rise. The reason being that while an SPF 50 may not be double the protection of say an SPF 25, it does block a higher percentage of rays and in those steamier months you tend to be outside more frequently and for extended periods of time. You’ll want to keep the harmful rays at bay and a higher SPF can help with that. MD Solar Science Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 $30, Shiseido SPF 50+ for Face $35, Clinique City Block SPF 40 $22, Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50 $48

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SPF and Your Makeup

Now having a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer with SPF is a GREAT way to include a little extra protection from the sun, but it doesn’t mean you can skip sunscreen altogether. To achieve total coverage you need to have your face, ears and neck/chest slathered up. Mineral sunscreens should be applied after your serum and moisturizer, but before your makeup. While chemical sunscreens should be applied directly to clean skin before any serum or moisturizer as they need time to interact with skin cells and be absorbed properly. Be sure to use a dime size amount on your forehead, nose, chin, cheeks, neck and ears to achieve total coverage. Second, select a sunscreen that will interact nicely with your makeup and not cause you to feel greasy or sticky.  If you plan on layering makeup over your sunscreen you don’t want it to feel heavy so picking primer like sunscreens is a great option.

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While a High SPF will block more rays, it doesn’t mean you can go all day without reapplying. On average if you are in the sun you should be reapplying your sunscreen every 2 hours and if you’re in the water even more frequently. I am sure you’re thinking “how am I supposed to reapply without ruining my makeup?” Well don’t worry there are a few options for reapplication which wont completely mess up that expertly applied, illuminator and blush. Try a  powder or compact SPF throughout the day, it will eliminate any shine and also keep your skin protected. Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder SPF 50 $62, Avene High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 $34

Now don’t forget to thank me in your speech at your 50th wedding anniversary, I’m sure you’ll look at least 10 years younger.

Evening Bag Essentials: Wedding Guest

Beuaty Bells Evening Bag Essentials 2

How does the saying go… “when it rains, it pours?” Well the same can be said for engagements/weddings. Once one lucky lady calls it official, a slew of friends will shortly follow with the same exciting news. While you may be a bride-to-be, you’re also probably about to be a wedding guest at many of your friends upcoming nuptials.

Since your main focus has probably been your own wedding, it is likely that you have forgotten that looking flawless while celebrating your nearest and dearest is a top priority as well. The biggest challenge in being a wedding guest, rather than part of the wedding party (at least when it comes to your makeup), is you won’t have a SWAT team at the ready to remind you to reapply your lipstick or blot your forehead before a photographer takes an action shot.

In order to keep that gorgeous visage looking top notch, and your hair perfectly coiffed, may I suggest a few must haves for your evening bag:

Tissues: The ceremony was so beautiful it brought a tear to your eye, and while you may have donned waterproof mascara it doesn’t mean you want those pesky tears streaking your face. Having a few tissues at the ready will keep you dry in the most emotional moments. Kleenex

Blotting Papers: That outdoor ceremony sure can do a number on your airbrushed to perfection skin. A dab on the forehead and nose will remove any unwanted shine and leave you picture perfect just as the photographer asks you to pose with the bride. Boscia Blotting Papers, $10.00

Lipstick: While you may have long-wear lipstick, you also have a long evening ahead of you.  After the cocktail hour, you’ll be in desperate need of a quick lipstick refresh before an evening of toasting and chatting. Dior Lipstick, $34.00

Compact Mirror: While you want to look gorgeous for all the big moments, you don’t want to miss any of the fun. Having a compact mirror will keep you from running to the loo every time you want to reapply your lipstick. Mirror, $7.00

Deodorant Wipes: Now if you’re the type to dance the night away you will want reinforcements, especially after that 30 minute hora. Freshen up with a quick swipe of a throwaway deodorant wipe, you’ll be smelling and feeling fresh all night long. Whish Deodorant Wipes Pack of 30, $22.00

Bobby Pins: No matter what your hairstyle, a few extra bobby pins never hurt anyone. Once you hit the dance floor a strand or two are bound to fall loose, with a bobby pin at the ready you’ll be able to replace those tendrils within a moments notice. Bobby Pins, $1.99


Bridal Shower Style: Spring Fling

Spring Fling Bridal Shower Look

For our last Bridal Shower Style were channeling a spring garden party. Soft romantic makeup, dewy skin and a nude lip is perfect for an afternoon affair amongst your favorite florals and friends. I tapped the professionals at MAC on how to achieve this ethereal look reminiscent of a garden fairy.

Just like our other tutorials all good things start with your base. Apply your moisturizer and primer, then your tinted moisturizer. Clean up your under eye area with a bit of concealer and set with translucent powder. Apply bronzer and a peachy blush. Then take liquid highlighter, and using a beauty blender highlight bridge of your nose, cheek bones and cupids bow. This will give your skin a dewy finish, making your friends wonder if you just stepped out of a midsummer nights dream.

Next you’ll focus on the main attraction, your eyes. This entire look is based on a soft eye, after priming your lids apply a shimmering light pink shadow to the entire lid by tapping the color on, then using a blending brush blend out the shadow to soften and smooth. Then take a purple/gray shadow and contour the lid by making a small V shape at the outside corner of each eye, dragging shadow along the lash line, once desired level of color is achieved blend out. Take a golden shadow and apply to inner corner of eye and along bottom lash line to brighten eyes. Apply 2 coats of mascara to top and bottom lashes finishing off the look and allowing your pretty peepers to pop.

Lastly find a nude semi-gloss lipstick and lip liner. Line lips and apply your natural toned lipstick to enhance your pouts color, but not draw attention away from your recently shimmering eyes. A tossled up-do with a thin headband will get all eyes on you. Now grab a Bellini and start enjoying your party.